Happy Poetry Thursday! Whenever I type that, it's like acknowledging a holiday. Too bad we don't get the day off to celebrate. But I digress...
Couldn't do the prompt--don't like math (read: that's why I'm an English major). So I'm posting a poem I've worked on for some years. Still not there yet, but everything I do is a work in progress.
Lately I've had conversations about poetry as a medium for preserving memories, and this poem is about capturing one moment as a snapshot. I guess it's coincidental that there is a photo in he poem.
Looking forward to seeing your poems this week, too!
Rosemary, circa 1958
She sits on a dorm room bed
wearing a nightie, almost translucent,
holding court with her girlfriends from nursing school;
cigarette in one hand, beer can in the other.
Atlanta, 1958, and a break from mid-term studies
turns into a late-night sleepover.
She is young, thin,
full of delight in her 18 years.
Her thick black hair is bundled
in big spongy rollers with a scarf
loosely tied around her head.
The photo, very black and very white,
refuses to fade with age, and in it,
my mother is all wilderness,
forgetting there are places in time
she would have it no other way.
Later, she will flunk her last year
and scrape together her education somewhere in North Carolina
She will meet my father at a party
and marry him five months later.
She will give up a nursing job in
New York City to start a family,
and soon I will push through her body
to join her in this world. I’m sure
she cannot picture nights alone
waiting for him to return from
a night of boozing,
taking long, incremental sips of
his favorite drink—loser on the rocks—
watching him drown on dry land.
No, my mother has no idea of what is to come.